Thursday, May 28, 2015

LLM Alum & Farmer, Sean Brister, Featured on Ozarks at Large

Special note from Susan:

With the record-breaking rain in our area, I have been wondering how Sean Brister and his wife Stephanie are doing with their farm, Frog Bayou Farms in Crawford County, Arkansas. They raise cattle, soybeans and pumpkins on their farm and have a popular agri-tourism business.

Sean is one of our alumni, receiving both his J.D. and his LL.M. degree in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.  Stephanie has her Masters in Agricultural Economics from the University.  Sean and Stephanie combine their professional work with farming -  running their own farm is a dream they have shared for a very long time, and several years ago, they turned that dream into reality.  They have visited the LL.M. Program to talk to our students about their experience in purchasing and running a farm, offering the class a great opportunity to explore the legal and financial challenges presented.

I was delighted to turn on the radio yesterday and immediately recognize Sean's voice.  Ozarks at Large did a great job interviewing him - here's a link, Western Arkansas River Valley Farmer Faces Floods.  

"Sean Brister's cheerful resolve to cultivate pumpkins, soybeans, and cattle despite consecutive flood events this spring on his Crawford County farm has not withered. We tour his rain-soaked parcel and along the way, dig up his root philosophy on agrarian optimism."


We wish Sean, Stephanie, and their boys the best -  and hope the rain holds off for a while. I am sure we will need it later in the summer, but we certainly don't need any more right now. Thanks to KUAF for another great interview.




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fall Classes Announced: Degree and Non-degree Opportunities

LL.M. Program in Agric. & Food Law

University of Arkansas School of Law

2015 Fall Courses 


We offer a full curriculum of specialized LL.M. courses each semester.  For Fall 2015, we will be offering our usual core courses, plus an exciting mix of new classes that address some of the most compelling new issues in agricultural and food law today.

The Fall semester begins with orientation on August 25. The first class will be a condensed course August 26-28.  The last day of classes for the semester is December 4, 2015.  The final exam period will be from December 7 – 18, 2015, although most LL.M. examinations are “take-home” projects that can be completed from any location.

We now accept full time and part time degree candidates, and some of our courses are open to professionals who just want to take one or two classes for non-degree credit, often obtaining CLE or other professional credit.  For more information visit our website or email LLm@uark.edu

In addition to the classes listed below, we will offer a special session, Food & Agriculture Conversations that will involve guest speakers and a dialogue on current issues. These will be scheduled on Tuesdays, from 11:00 – 11:50 and will complement our other classes.

Food Law & Policy
Susan Schneider
2 credit full-semester course (required for LL.M. degree)
LAWW 7862
Wednesday, 9:00 – 10:40 a.m.
An introduction to the network of laws that govern our food system. An overview of regulation by both the Food & Drug Administration and the USDA is provided. Policy considerations are discussed in light of current issues.

Agriculture & the Environment 
Christopher Kelley
2 credit full-semester course (required for the LL.M. degree)
LAWW 7962
Thursday, 10:00 – 11:40 a.m.
Agriculture is increasingly criticized for its impact on the environment. This course examines the tensions between the desire to produce food and fiber efficiently and concern for sustainability and the protection of natural resources.

Food, Farming & Sustainability (Survey of Agricultural Law)
Susan Schneider
2 credit full-semester course
LAWW 7412
Friday, 9:00 – 10:40
This course provides a survey of the complex legal topics that make up the body of agricultural and food law focusing on current issues of significance.

The Right to Food
Uche Ewelukwa
1 credit half-semester course (Aug. 25 – Oct. 8)
LAWW 500(1)
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00 – 1:50 p.m.
This course will provide an overview of the historical development of the right to food, evaluate the rights, obligations and responsibilities of rights-holders and duty-bearers of the right to food, and will examine legal and non-legal mechanisms that are increasingly used to adjudicate the right to food.

Business, Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Food/Ag Sector
Uche Ewelukwa
1 credit half-semester course (Oct. 13 – Dec. 3)
LAWW 500(1)
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00 – 1:50 p.m.
The course explores the business-human rights nexus with a particular focus on the food and agricultural sector and on case studies from around the world. The course introduces students to the linkages between business and human rights from a variety of (legal, regulatory, and policy) perspectives.

Specialized Legal Research and Writing
Christopher Kelley
1 credit full-semester, pass/fail course
LAWW 7231
Tuesday, 10:00 – 10:50 p.m.
Legal writing skill development, including training in plain-English legal writing, electronic research training, and publication strategies. This course will assist students in planning to meet the LL.M. writing requirement.

Urban Agriculture Law & Policy
Nicole Civita
LAWW 7741
1 credit full semester distance course
Video-conferences TBA
Study of the legal issues raised by the rising interest in urban agricultural activities.  Topics of study include land use and zoning issues, farmers market issues, and legal issues associated with community-sponsored agriculture.

Courses Available Only to LL.M. Degree Candidates:

An Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture  
Neil Hamilton
1 credit condensed course
LAWW 7511
Tentatively scheduled for Aug. 26- 28, 2015
Introductory course that provides an overview of the legal and policy issues presented by the production of food and fiber, including a discussion of structural changes in agriculture, sustainability issues, and trends in consumer interest.

Agricultural Policy & the Federal Budget 
David Grahn
1 credit condensed course
LAWW 7321
Tentatively scheduled for Nov. 9 – 11, 2015
Study of the impact of the Office of Management and Budget and the cost scoring system on federal agricultural policy making in Washington, D.C.  Current farm policy issues are discussed within the context of budgetary constraints and pressures.

Special Topics: Research in Agricultural & Food Law Issues for the Arkansas Dept. of Agriculture
Wesley Ward and Cynthia Edwards
LAWW 771V
(1 credit – full semester)
New opportunity to work with our alumni serving as Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture on legal issues that arise. Limited to 1 or 2 students; selection by application.

Independent Research in Agricultural & Food Law
LAWW 771V
 (1-2 credits)
Independent research in agricultural and food law conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.

Advanced Legal Research & Writing (1 credit independent writing project; satisfies the legal writing requirement; grade based on final written product)
LAWW 770V
(1-2 credits)
Research in a specialized area of agricultural or food law and development of a paper that demonstrates rigorous legal analysis and quality legal writing.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hillary Renick Accepts Position as Natural Resources Advisor

Our congratulations to current LL.M. Candidate Hillary Renick, who recently accepted a position to serve as Natural Resource Advisor for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of the Regional Director, Division of Environmental, Cultural Resource Management and Safety in Sacramento, California. In her position, Hillary will be providing professional assistance to 102 Indian Reservations in the Pacific Region service area. Hillary will be conducting scoping meetings, public hearings, environmental reviews and consultations with various governmental, tribal, and private sector projects that may potentially impact lands on or near Reservations or Rancherias. She will be conducting environmental training and presentations, creating and monitoring mitigation measures required under NEPA, tribal ordinances and regulations. She will also be analyzing baseline resource data for sites contaminated with hazardous wastes/substances.  
In addition to her LL.M. studies this year, Hillary has worked as a graduate assistant with the Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative here at the University of Arkansas School of Law. 

Hillary serves as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for Sherwood Valley Rancheria.  Before attending the LL.M. Program, she worked for the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. She has also served as Yakama Nation Chief Judge; Environmental-Air Quality Specialist for Yakama Nation; Associate attorney for the LaPena Law Corporation; a Law Clerk for Oregon Governor Kulongoski's Office of General Counsel; and a Law Clerk for Anderson Law Group in Anchorage, Alaska.  Hillary has several years of public service employment with the Indian Health Service in Rockville, Maryland; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Institutes of Health; the Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and the International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Office of Senator Maria Cantwell; Bureau of Land Management; and the American Red Cross.  She is also alumni of the Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) at the University of New Mexico School of Law; the Morris K. Udall internship in the Office of Senator Maria Cantwell; the AISES Summer program at the State Department; the Washington Internship for Native Students (WINS) at American University; and a recipient of the Rodney T. Mathews Scholarship, Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
Hillary received her J.D. from the University of the Oregon School of Law, with certificates of completion in Environmental and Natural Resources, Ocean and Coastal Law, Pro Bono, and Public Service. While in law school she was a Native Environmental Sovereignty Fellow and served as Public Relations Outreach Officer for the Native American Law Student Association. She was a Research Assistant for Professor Mary Christina Wood, researching Nature’s Trust and Public Trust Doctrine as it relates to Climate Change.  She also completed graduate studies in Cultural Resource Management at Central Washington University, successfully defending her Master’s Thesis on Yakama Indian Treaty Fishing and Significance of Traditional Places and graduate studies in Public Health at George Washington University assisting, Dr. David Goldsmith with his research on Native American health problems associated with exposure to agricultural pesticides in agriculture and during repatriation.  Hillary received her B.A. in Anthropology from American University in Washington, D.C. Hillary is also alumna of Mendocino College, Phi Theta Kappa.
Hillary currently serves on the Board of Trustees for California Indian Legal Services and was previously a member of the Native American Advisory Group to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.  Hillary is a member of the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians and descendant of the Hopland Shanel, Noyo and Ft. McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone communities.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Visit From our Alumni: Wes Ward and Cynthia Edwards, Arkansas Secretary & Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

This week, we were delighted to host Arkansas's new Secretary of Agriculture, Wes Ward and Deputy Secretary Cynthia Edwards.  Both Wes and Cynthia are alumni of the LL.M. Program, and we are very proud of their service.

On Monday, we had an opportunity to talk about ways to involve the LL.M. Program with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. As Arkansas has such a diverse agricultural sector and also confronts challenging food security issues,  work with the Ag Department can be instructive even for students from other states.  With so many of our graduates serving in policy positions at a state and federal level,  on-the-ground involvement with the work of an administrative agency will be very helpful to our students.

On Tuesday, we accompanied Wes and Cynthia on a series of on-site visits with people on the front lines of the local food movement in Northwest Arkansas.


Teresa Mauer, Sec. Wes Ward, Dep'ty Sec. Cynthia
Edwards, and Leann Halsey at the Farmers' Market
We began the day at the Fayetteville Farmers' Market on the beautiful downtown square. There we met with Teresa Mauer, Vendor Coordinator & Leann Halsey, Business Coordinator.  We discussed the organizational structure of the market, how vendors become part of the market, and what events are planned for the coming season. This market is for locally produced foods and products only, and the array of items was impressive. We met all of the vendors and stocked our cooler with fresh strawberries, honey, and asparagus.  We also bought plants for our own gardens.


Dep't Sec. Cynthia Edwards, Sec. Wes Ward, Principal
Ashley McLarty, Morgan Stout, Ally Mracheck, Nicole Civita
Nicole Civita, Dept'y Sec. Cynthia Edwards, Susan
Schneider, Ally Mracheck, Morgan Stout, Sec. Wes Ward
in the Washington Elementary School Garden area.
Our next stop was Washington Elementary School, where Melissa Terry coordinated our visit with School Principal Ashley McLarty; Morgan Stout, Child Nutrition Director for the Fayetteville Public School System;  and, Ally Mrachek, Nutrition Supervisor and Farm-to-School Procurement Coordinator for the Fayetteville Public Schools. Melissa has been active in the NW Arkansas local food community for a number of years and is currently working on her Master's Degree in Public Administration/Non-Profit Studies at the University of Arkansas. She also serves as the Food Recovery Challenge Intern - EPA, Region 6.  And, she manages the school garden at Washington Elementary.  During our visit, we learned about the successes experienced in sourcing local foods, improving school nutrition, and introducing students to healthy foods. Local food procurement not only provides benefits to the school, it benefits the entire community, with funding kept within the community. We also discussed the challenges and the ways that the state government could assist schools.

After leaving Washington Elementary, we visited Feed Fayetteville, the NW Arkansas non-profit organization "founded to cultivate proactive, durable solutions to local hunger, childhood obesity and the relationships between both of these hotspots with a focus upon supporting local farmers and producers in our community." There, we met founder Denise Garner, who explained the origins of Feed Fayetteville and Feed Communities. And, we met Mike Rush, Executive Director, Jared Phillips, Program Manager, at Feed Communities. We had a great discussion about local and regional food initiatives and innovative agricultural production systems in Arkansas.

Jared Phillips, Sec. Wes Ward, Nicole Civita, Denise
Garner, Mike Rush, Dep'ty Sec. Cynthia Edwards

We then headed to lunch at The Farmer’s Table, a popular locally-sourced Fayetteville restaurant. We talked with the owners Adrienne & Rob Shaunfield about sourcing issues.  Peter Nierengarten, the Director of the Fayetteville Sustainability & Resilience Department joined us. Peter was able to provide information about his work for the City and urban agriculture initiatives, including urban farming ordinance passed last year. Of course, we had a most delicious lunch.


Rose Konold, Sec.Wes Ward, Dep'ty Sec. Cynthia
Edwards & some of the Boston Mtn Hogs at Mason Creek Farm
After lunch, we drove to Mason Creek Farm where we met Rose Konold and Glenn Woelk. Rose gave us a tour of the farm and discussed the new breed of hog developed from a cross of a Yorkshire sow and a Tamworth boar. Rose has established the Boston Mountain Hog Breeders Association. Mason Creek is an Animal Welfare Approved operation with direct sales throughout the area.











Our day concluded with an inspiring visit to Tricycle Farm & Crossroads Farmers Market. Founder of Tricycle, Don Bennett spoke about the concept behind this unique urban farm and the people that they bring together from throughout the community. Located in the heart of a busy urban area and close to the UA campus, "the mission of Tri Cycle Farms (TCF) is to grow community through soil as we steward food awareness, education and empowerment." Discussing community, food security, and the satisfaction that comes from producing food while drinking tea in the shade was a perfect way to end an amazing day.

Thanks to Secretary Wes Ward, Deputy Secretary Cynthia Edwards and all the wonderful hosts we had throughout the day.  Special thanks to our Professor Nicole Civita for coordinating.



Friday, May 1, 2015

Donald Judges Named Interim Associate Vice Provost for Distance Education

Donald P. Judges has been named the Interim Associate Vice Provost for Distance Education at the University of Arkansas, taking on the role of second-in-command at the Global Campus beginning May 1.

Don has served as Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Experiential Learning at the School of Law, and he was instrumental in the expansion of our LL.M. Program and the development of our Distance Education track.  That work was supported by Global Campus, forging an important partnership with the Law School. We look forward to continued collaborations with Global Campus as we continue to develop and expand our approach to distance education.  Don will spend half of his time working with the Global Campus leadership team and the other half teaching courses as the law school’s E.J. Ball Professor of Law. We greatly appreciate his continued support for our Program and wish him the very best in his new position. His commitment to excellence and to innovation in education will serve him well.  For more on Dean Judges appointment, read the full announcement posted on the Arkansas Newswire.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

LLM Walmart Externs Receive Food Safety Champion Awards

Each Spring semester, one or two of our LL.M. candidates are selected for an opportunity to extern at Walmart working with the food safety and labeling compliance team.  The opportunity to work inside the world's largest food retailer on safety and labeling issues is a remarkable way to learn food law in practice. This semester Trevor Findley and Christina Rice were the Walmart Externs from our Program.

Our Alumna, Amy White worked closely with Trevor and Christina, involving them in many real-world food labeling and safety issues.  Amy serves as the Food Safety and Health Manager for Labeling Compliance at Walmart, working with internal and external stakeholders to ensure regulatory compliance in food labeling. She works specifically with the labeling of private-label food items sold at Walmart and Sam's Club.  Her position requires complex regulatory analysis and close work with the companies that supply Walmart. An additional part of her position is monitoring legislation, litigation and policy shifts that affect food labeling.  Working with Amy is a fascinating learning experience for our LL.M. candidates.

Senior Associate General Counsel Don Wiseman also mentors our externs. Don is the company's principal subject matter legal expert for food safety and regulatory compliance, as well as consumer product safety and compliance. He has years of experience as a food law attorney. Before joining Walmart, he served as the senior vice president and general counsel of Swift Foods Co. and prior to that position, served as senior vice president and general counsel of Memphis-based Perkins Restaurants.

Christina and Trevor took time away from their final
exams to pose for this picture with their awards.
Through attendance at meetings and conferences, the externs are able to meet many of the professionals at Walmart who work on food safety and labeling issues. They were particularly fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Frank Yiannas, Vice President for Food Safety at Walmart. Dr. Yiannas is a recognized leader in food safety, a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, and author of the book, Food Safety Culture: Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System. He oversees all food safety and public health functions at Walmart. Trevor and Christina had the opportunity to present their work to him and the food safety/labeling team.  Dr. Yiannas honored them with Food Safety Champion Awards for the work they did during their externship.  We are grateful for the opportunity that is provided to our externs, and we are very proud of the work they do. Congratulations, Trevor and Christina.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fulbright Scholar Program: Field of Law

The announcement below is courtesy of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching, research or combined teaching and research awards in over 125 countries for the 2016-2017 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators, as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others.

This year, the Fulbright Scholar Program is offering over 80 awards in the field of Law. Exciting opportunities are available in many countries, including but not limited to:

Bulgaria: Law
Burma: All Disciplines (Law among preferred disciplines)
East Asia and the Pacific: Cross-Strait Studies
Ghana: Law
Jamaica: All Disciplines (Law among preferred disciplines)
Jordan: Public Policy and International Relations
Nepal: All Disciplines (Law among preferred disciplines)
Norway: International Courts and Tribunals
Sweden: Fulbright-Lund University Chair in Public International Law

For further awards in the field of Law, please visit our new Opportunities in Law webpage. There you will find award highlights and examples of successful projects in the discipline.

For eligibility factors, detailed application guidelines and review criteria, please follow this link. You may also wish to register for one of our webinars or join our online community, My Fulbright, a resource center for applicants interested in the program.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and the current competition will close on August 3, 2015.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any of the opportunities listed above or the Fulbright Scholar Program in general.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. For more information, visit eca.state.gov/fulbright.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Global Anti-Corruption Officer and Vice-President of Wal-Mart to join Rule of Law Class

We are pleased to share that tomorrows Rule of Law Class will be joined by special guest Tom Gean, Global Anti-Corruption Officer and Vice-President of WalMart. This is an honor and a wonderful opportunity for us. Mr. Gean began his legal career as an associate at Alston & Bird LLP. He then became the Prosecuting Attorney for Sebastian County and, later, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. He joined Walmart in 2004 as its Chief Legal Compliance Officer (U.S.) and Vice-President. He became Walmart's Global Anti-Corruption Officer and Vice-President in 2012.

Mr. Gean received his law degree from Vanderbilt University. He earned his Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he was captain of the U of A swimming team.

As we've previously reported, University of Arkansas School of Law Associate Professor Christopher Kelley has taught a Rule of Law course for the J.D. and LL.M. students at Arkansas for a number of years. While in the past, the course has always included live video-conferenced discussions with attorneys from other countries, this year the student body in the course is also transnational. Students from the well-regarded Taras Shevchenko Faculty of Law in Kyiv, Ukraine are participating in the class by live video conference.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Alumni Update: Mark Cohen Honored by Colorado State Bar Association

Our congratulations to LL.M. Alumnus Mark Cohen, who was recently honored by the Colorado State Bar Association for his six years of service on the Editorial Board of The Colorado Lawyer magazine from July 2009 through June 2015, including service as Board Chair from 2012-2013.

Since completing the program, Mark has returned to practice in Colorado where he focuses on agricultural law issues, mediation and arbitration, with a specialization in assisting businesses and other lawyers improve their documents by using plain English.

In addition to his service on the Colorado State Bar Association Editorial Board, Mark is a published author of both legal publications and mystery novels.

His recent legal publications include the Book Review-Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law, Joseph Kimble, The Colorado Lawyer, November 2012 and Book Review-Preparing Witnesses: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients, (3rd Ed.) by Daniel I. Small, The Colorado Lawyer, December 2009.

His works of fiction include  Bluetick Revenge: A Pepper Keane Mystery, Mysterious Press (Div. of Time/Warner) and The Fractal Murders: A Pepper Keane Mystery, Mysterious Press (A Book Sense 76® Top Ten Mystery Selection (Fall 2002) and a finalist for the Colorado Book Award).

Saturday, April 18, 2015

LL.M. Alumnus Ben Thomas on the Daily Show??

Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas was featured on many news highlights and as a "Moment of Zen" on the Daily Show last week.  His cell phone went off while USDA Secretary Vilsack was testifying before the Senate Finance committee.  And, it turns out that his cell phone ring tone is the song "Let it Go" from the Disney animated film, Frozen.

What you may not have realized is that one of our alumni, Ben Thomas, was sitting directly behind Secretary Vilsack at the hearing.  While you can only see a bit of him on the brief Daily Show clip, we found a longer YouTube video that shows the moments before the cell phone goes off, and it shows Ben attentively listening to the Secretary's testimony. Clearly an alumni sighting is bigger news to us than Senator Roberts' ringtone! Watch the clip below -  and that's Ben on the right.

Ben serves at USDA as Chief of Staff for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Alumni Update: Sara Albert featured in preventobesity.net article

We are pleased to share that LL.M. Alum Sara Albert was recently featured in this Increasing Access to Healthy Food in Dallas County, Texas article published by preventobesity.net. Sara serves as the Assistant Director of Food Policy at Children at Risk. Sarah joined CHILDREN AT RISK in 2014 to focus on local and state food policy related to food insecurity, childhood obesity, and access to healthy affordable food for North Texas children and their families. Sara is an avid community gardener and a champion of sustainable agricultural practices, urban agriculture, small farmers, and real food. Congratulations Sara.

Special Guest: Director of Congressional Relations in the Public Policy Department, Kristi Boswell

Immigration Reform in Agriculture

On Tuesday, special guest Kristi Boswell will visit the LL.M. class to provide a special session on Immigration Reform in Agriculture. Her visit is a part of the ongoing Agricultural Labor Law Course taught by LL.M. Adjunct Professor Amy Lowenthal. Kristi will join the class via video conference. 

Kristi Boswell serves as the Director of Congressional Relations in the Public Policy Department handling labor issues.

Prior to joining America Farm Bureau Federation, Kristi practiced corporate defense litigation, including labor and employment, at Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Omaha, Nebraska. Before attending law school, Kristi worked as an aide to former Nebraska State Senator Pamela Redfield in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

Kristi grew up on a farm in southeastern Nebraska where her family raised corn and soybeans. Kristi graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska in 2004 and received her Juris Doctor with Distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2009.

Friday, April 3, 2015

New Book Features Contributions from Seven LL.M. Alumni

Urban Agriculture: Policy, Law, Strategy, and Implementation


Congratulations are in order for Lauren Bernadett, Nicole Civita, Lauren Handel, Andy Frame, Sara Albert, Michael T. Roberts, Executive Director for the Resinck Program for Food Law & Policy, and LL.M. Program Director Susan Schneider for their contributions to the recently released book, Urban Agriculture: Policy, Law, Strategy, and Implementation

The book, described below, is available on the ABA shop site







A current, practical resource on all aspects of agricultural activities within non-rural settings, ranging from neighborhood gardens to commercial farming operations, this book addresses many of the land use, environmental, and regulatory legal issues that confront local governments, property owners, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and neighborhood groups when addressing urban gardening or farming. Chapter authors also describe and analyze the experiences of specific urban areas, providing perspectives on their different approaches.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Join Us This Summer As We Examine the Emerging Food Justice Movement

This May, our popular Food Justice Law & Policy course will be offered for the first time during the summer semester, and will be open to an expanded audience including Law & Graduate Students and Interested Professional across the country. The course will be tailored to fit the background of enrolled students, and will be offered in both a distance and face to face format. Interested individuals should contact the LL.M. Program at llm@uark.edu. Regular tuition rates apply.








Monday, March 30, 2015

Journal of Food Law & Policy Symposium: The Past, Present & Future of Food Law



On March 20th, the Journal of Food Law & Policy celebrated its 10th anniversary with a symposium featuring some of the most recognized names in food law and policy. Our guests were instrumental in establishing the Journal 10 years ago, and we were honored to celebrate this special occasion with them.

Our speakers included:

Neil Hamilton, Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Professor of Law at Drake Law School. Professor Hamilton also serves as the Director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center.

Peter Barton Hutt, Senior Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP and Instructor of Food & Drug Law at Harvard Law School. Professor Hutt is one of the authors of the leading casebook, Food & Drug Law: Cases and Materials (4th ed., Foundation Press 2013).

Michael T. Roberts, Executive Director, Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy at UCLA Law School and former Research Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas school of Law; and

Susan Schneider, William H. Enfield Professor of Law and Director, LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law.

The conference was presented in the LL.M. Study at the University of Arkansas School of Law and was streamed to a live audience participating via distance. A recording of excerpts from the Symposium will be posted on the Journal of Food Law Policy's website and announced when on this blog when it becomes available.





The Journal of Food Law & Policy is the only student-edited legal journal in the country devoted to the study of food law and its impact on society. It’s first issue was published in July 2005, leading the legal academy in this emerging area of law. The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law was proud to co-sponsor this conference, showcasing our state-of-the-art distance technology. Our thanks to all of our speakers and to our participants for this wonderful event, and congratulations to the Journal.



Special Class with LL.M. Alum Brandon Willis, Head of USDA Risk Management Agency

Brandon Willis, Administrator of the Risk Management Agency (RMA) at the USDA made a special visit to the LL.M. Program on Friday, March 20th as a part of his visit to the University of Arkansas campus.

Brandon addressed the class during a special session to discuss risk management strategies, current issues affecting federal crop insurance, and his goals in leading RMA. He also offered the LL.M. class some helpful advice on searching for a job in D.C. and selecting a successful career path. Brandon credited his LL.M. studies as getting him started in his agricultural law career.

After Brandon completed his coursework in the LL.M. Program, he went directly to Washington, D.C. to serve as the Agriculture Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Max Baucus. He drafted floor statements on agricultural issues and worked closely on legislation, including the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, with a particular focus on the livestock disaster programs. He also drafted legislation that supported the use of existing conservation programs to help fight the declining population of bees and other pollinators.

Brandon then served as Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs for USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA).  In that position, he oversaw all FSA programs under the Production Emergencies and Compliance Division (PECD), Conservation and Environmental Programs Division (CEPD), and Price Support Division (PSD).

Just prior to accepting the position at RMA, Brandon served as Senior Advisor to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Title I commodity programs, farm legislation matters and disaster assistance.

While in the LL.M. Program, Brandon served as a Graduate Assistant for the National Agricultural Law Center during the time that it was affiliated with the law school.  He earned his bachelor's degree in crop and soil science from Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and his law degree from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo., and his LL.M. degree in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.  Brandon grew up on a third generation sheep ranch in northern Utah and managed his family's raspberry farm, Bursting Berries.

Brandon's visit to Northwest Arkansas was at the invitation of the National Agricultural Law Center, part of the Division of Agriculture. He delivered a public address on campus and met with leaders from the Arkansas agriculture community.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

LL.M. Alumnus Wes Ward Appointed Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture

We are proud to announce that LL.M. Alumnus Wesley Ward of Lake City, Arkansas has just become Arkansas' third Secretary of Agriculture.

Wes was recommended by Governor Asa Hutchinson on March 13 and on Friday, the Arkansas Agriculture Board voted to appoint him to the position.  He will be sworn into office soon. He will replace Butch Calhoun of Des Arc, who left the position in December. Arkansas's Agriculture Department was created in 2005 and has more than 530 employees. It includes the state Plant Board, the Forestry Commission, the Livestock and Poultry Commission, the Aquaculture Division and the land surveyor, as well as programs that benefit agriculture, such as dairy stabilization, farmers markets, and other promotion and marketing programs.

Wes serves as a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps after high school and spent four years on active duty. He then joined the Marine Corps Reserve and attended Arkansas State University, where he received his B.S. degree in agricultural finance, magna cum laude. He received his law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law and then served as Battalion Judge Advocate in the U.S., Marine Corps. He was deployed to Afghanistan and to Jordan. He returned to the University of Arkansas to earn his LL.M. degree in Agricultural & Food Law, taking a number of courses in the Masters in Agricultural Economics Program at the Bumpers College of Agriculture. While in the LL.M. Program Wes served as an adjunct professor at the law school.

Wes grew up in Northeastern Arkansas and worked for U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., in 2013 as a field coordinator doing agricultural outreach. He has already spent time talking with the agriculture department's current staff, university contacts and agriculture industry groups.

Wes is quoted in Arkansas Online - "I promise you [that] you won't find find anyone that's going to work any harder for the state and for all our agricultural interests throughout the state."  He noted that his long term goals included seeing the department do more to help create agriculture-related jobs and to work with veterans interested in becoming farmers. We have already talked to Wes about finding ways that the LL.M. Program can support and assist him in his new role.

Congratulations, Wes.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Indigenous Food & Agricuture Initiative Hosts 2nd Annual Native Youth Leadership Summit

Last year, the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative hosted its inaugural Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summit. We are pleased to report that the Initiative just announced that applications are now open for the 2nd year.

The Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative operates under the direction of Visiting Assistant Professor of Law Janie Hipp. An alumna of the LL.M. Program, Janie also teaches a course in Indigenous Food & Agriculture for the Program, alongside Initiative Staff Attorney, Erin Shirl.



To learn more, check out the recent post describing the event on the IFAI blog.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Visiting Professor Neil Hamilton: Remarks on Des Moines Water Works Proposed Litigation

Another issue that connects agricultural law, environmental law and our food system.

As many have read in the news, the Des Moines Water Works recently started the requisite process to initiate a lawsuit against 3 Iowa counties over nitrate contamination of the city water source. See, e.g., Water Works Votes to Sue 3 Counties Over Nitrates.  The Water Works is currently spending $4,000 a day to treat the contaminated water. The water has been found to be 6 times higher than the federal limit for nitrate contamination.

This proposed case raises a variety of novel legal questions and brings the issue of nitrate contamination in Iowa, the vast majority of which comes from farming sources, to center stage.

Professor Neil Hamilton, one of our visiting professors in the LL.M. Program, was asked to speak to the Iowa Water Conference this week, and I am providing his remarks to our LL.M. students for discussion in their classes. This issue provides an example of the many ways that an integrated study of agricultural and food law is necessary.

Professor Hamilton also allowed me to post his remarks on the Agricultural Law blog that I write for. The Agricultural Law blog is a member of the Jurisdynamics Network of blogs and is the official blog of the American Association of Law School's Agricultural and Food Law Section.

For anyone interested in this issue, here is a link to the post, Sixteen Things to Know About the Des Moines Water Works Proposed Lawsuit.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Interview with Bill Marler

Bill Marler Food Safety
"Bill Marler, one of the world's foremost authorities on food poisoning and the law is on campus at the University of Arkansas for two days. . . "  Food Poisoning and the Law.

Listen to this excellent interview with Bill Marler. The interview was conducted by Kyle Kellams of KUAF Public Radio, and it was broadcast on Ozarks At Large.  It is the first of two segments on Bill's work.

Thanks again to Bill and Denis Sterns for teaching a fantastic class for us on food safety litigation. It was wonderful to have you with us.

Bill Marler Food Safety



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bill Marler & Denis Stearns Teach in LL.M. Program - Public Reception Announcement


Marler Clark Attorneys,  Bill Marler and Denis Stearns to Teach LL.M. Class 

Reception in their honor Monday February 23

Join us Monday, February 23 for a reception in honor of our guest and visiting professor, Bill Marler and his law partner Denis Stearns.  Bill and Denis will be here teaching a condensed course for us,
Food Safety Litigation, Monday and Tuesday. 

The reception will be Monday evening from 5:00-7:00 with a presentation by Bill at 5:30. 



Monday, February 16, 2015

Guest Speaker: Amy White, Walmart Food Safety Manager, Labeling Compliance

We were pleased to host LL.M. alumna, Amy White, in our Special Topics: Food Labeling and Food Safety class. Amy is the Food Safety Manager, Labeling & Compliance for Walmart.

Amy delivered an informative presentation to the class on the new menu labeling rule for restaurants. These rules will apply to many of the deli items sold at retail stores such as Walmart, and as such, addressing compliance issues across the many Walmart stores is a significant issue. Amy has been briefing others at Walmart and working with stores to develop compliance strategies.

Some of the issues raised during Amy's presentation included serving size variations, menu display requirements, and exemptions.

Amy is also working with two of our LL.M. students this semester, Trevor Findley and Christina Rice, through our Walmart Food Labeling, Safety and Compliance Externship.  This externship allows two LL.M. students to extern two days a week at the world's largest food retailer, Walmart, at its headquarters north of Fayetteville in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Regardless of our students' various perspectives on our food system, the ability to experience Walmart from the inside is an amazing opportunity.  Our appreciation is expressed to Amy for her presentation and her work with our Externs.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Anne Hazlett Appointed Chief Counsel, Senate Ag Committee

We are delighted to announce that our LL.M. Program alumna, Anne Hazlett, has been selected as Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) Chairman of the Committee announced her appointment along with the appointment of other Committee hires last week.

“I am proud to add people with experience in farming, ranching and agriculture policymaking to the staff,” Roberts said. “Our team is now complete and we look forward to our first hearing at the end of the month.”

Anne is a natural selection for this important position, as her resume includes a long list of agricultural law accomplishments and years of policymaking experience. She has served as Republican Chief Counsel on the Senate Agriculture Committee since 2009. Prior to that position, Anne served as the Director of Agriculture for her home state of Indiana and served as Chief of Staff to Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.

During the development of both the 2002 and 2008 Farm bills, Anne worked as legal counsel to the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committees.

Beyond her government service, Anne has also worked for several agricultural interest organizations, including the Indiana and California Farm Bureaus.

Anne graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Communications.  She earned her law degree from the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis and her LL.M. degree in Agricultural Law from our Program.

Congratulations, Anne!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Doug O'Brien Joins White House Domestic Policy Council

We are delighted to announce that another one of our distinguished LL.M. alumni has an exciting new position.

Doug O’Brien, who has been serving as the USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development, has now joined the the White House Domestic Policy Council. There, he will coordinate the White House Rural Council and take the lead on a number of Obama administration rural development initiatives.

During his tenure at USDA, Doug served in several high level capacities, as senior advisor to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and as Chief of Staff to then Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

When the Hagstrom Report announced the new appointment it noted Doug's work on many significant projects at USDA including "the minority farmer class action lawsuits, the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food program, the bio-economy, and targeting resources to impoverished rural areas."

Before working at USDA, Doug served as the Assistant Director of the Ohio Agriculture Department, Senior Adviser to Iowa Democratic Gov. Chet Culver, and Counsel to the Senate Agriculture Committee when Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, was the top Democrat on the committee.

We were pleased to have Doug as a colleague here at the Law School when he worked with us in a joint appointment with the Drake University Agricultural Law Center.  Previous positions include work for former Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, and as a clerk for the Iowa Supreme Court.

Doug is a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, the University of Iowa Law School, and the University of Arkansas LL.M. Program in Agricultural Law.

Doug grew up on a diversified hog farm in Dubuque County, Iowa and has dedicated his career to agriculture and rural policy.

Congratulations, Doug!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Legal Issues in Indigenous Food & Agriculture


This spring, we're offering a course on the Legal Issues in Indigenous Food & Agriculture. The course is taught primarily by the Director of the Law School's Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative, Professor Janie Hipp. The Initiative maintain an excellent blog of their own, and recently posted an in-depth piece on our Legal Issues course. An excerpt from that post is included below. And be sure to keep up with the IFAI by visiting their blog.

 
For one hour every Friday, we have the privilege of teaching six students about the particularities of food and ag law that apply only in Indian Country.




While the course is designed to give our LL.M. candidates a landscape-level view of the legal issues relevant to excellent future legal practice in this space, we've done our best to ensure that the students understand that this particular legal landscape is not always easily traversed. After a few weeks in the course-- and with the class session on land use, land tenure, and land fractionation happening today-- it's safe to say they've got that part down.

As the course's primary instructor, IFAI Director Janie Hipp is thoroughly enjoying her return to the classroom, with her teaching experience enhanced not only by the years she spent teaching in multiple undergraduate and graduate colleges here at the University, but now informed also by her seven and a half years with USDA. The students are having a great time with her.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jason Foscolo speaks at Ohio State Food Law Conference

Our alumnus, Jason Foscolo will be presenting at this upcoming CLE. I hope he recruits some attorneys to learn more by taking our LL.M. classes!  We now have opportunities for non-degree candidates that just want to take a class or two . . .  or three. . .

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Six Months of Freedom: Documentary from Ukraine

Our thoughts continue to be with our friends, colleagues, and alumni in Ukraine.

Professor Kelley is currently in Kyiv, Ukraine teaching a short course in negotiations and meeting with colleagues there.  He sent us a link to a documentary film project that is a pro bono initiative of the Inyurpolis Law Firm (ILF), a law firm that he is affiliated with as a consultant. ILF is based in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The project is called Six Months of Freedom, and they released the first of a series of independent films that will be produced. The project's stated objective is "to create an information platform free from politics and vested interest of media moguls, as well as to develop independent media and documentary films."

This first film tells the stories of the doctors and nurses of the Kharkiv military hospital, the Kharkiv volunteers, and the injured Ukrainian soldiers.  Professor Kelley describes the documentary as providing "a look at the war that you will not see elsewhere."

We were moved by the documentary, and it is posted here for your review.  Note that it is in Ukrainian, with English subtitles. Many of the images and the human spirit depicted transcend language.



Monday, January 26, 2015

Visiting Prof Bill Marler Featured in the New Yorker Magazine

This week's New Yorker Magazine contains an important article on food safety, A Bug in the System, Why Last Night's Chicken Made You Sick.  While the article discusses salmonella bacterial contamination of chicken and our regulatory system, it is also a tribute to our visiting professor, Bill Marler. It describes his practice, his entry into the food safety litigation world, and the incredible influence that he has had.

Consider the following excerpt from the article -
Robert Brackett, who directed food safety at the F.D.A. during the George W. Bush Administration, told me that Marler has almost single-handedly transformed the role that lawsuits play in food policy: “Where people typically thought of food safety as this three-legged stool—the consumer groups, the government, and the industry—Bill sort of came in as a fourth leg and actually was able to effect changes in a way that none of the others really had.” Hagen [former head of USDA FSIS] said the cost that Marler extracts from food makers “can be a stronger incentive or disincentive than the passing of any particular regulation.” Mike Taylor [highest food safety official at the FDA] called litigation such as Marler’s “a central element of accountability.”
Bill teaches a 1-credit class for us most years, flying in and teaching for 2 full days without any compensation. This year, he is flying in with his law partner, Denis Stearns and will be here February 23-24. We are grateful for his support and all looking forward to his visit.

Vade Donaldson, Food Access Programs Manager, Washington State Farmers Market Association

We continue to receive updates on our Alumni. The good news continues, this time from LL.M. Graduate Vade Donaldson.

LL.M. Alumnus Vade Donaldson serves as the Food Access Programs Manager at the Washington State Farmers Market Association (WSFMA). WSFMA is a state-wide membership association that supports 113 farmers markets across Washington. Each year, WSFMA holds an annual conference. This year, the conference, "Market Value: Healthy Communities & Thriving Farms", is in Olympia, WA on Feb. 6-8.

Vade reports that his work is focused on making it easier for beneficiaries of food assistance to shop at farmers markets across the state.  Much of this work is done through the "Regional Leads Program", which connects local government agencies and community nonprofits with farmers markets that serve low income communities using federal food assistance benefits.




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Emily Bridges Accepts Attorney Position With Arkansas Department of Human Services

We are pleased to report that our LL.M. alumna, Emily Bridges now serves as an Attorney Specialist with the Office of Chief Counsel for the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

In this new position, Emily will represent the agency in legal proceedings, conducting legal research and writing legal documents for use in litigation and providing legal assistance to the agency.  She will also be preparing the agency's legal briefs, motions, and other pleadings, analyzing and interpreting state and federal laws, advising the agency on potential legal issues and offering a legal opinion on actions the agency may take in resolving legal issues.  In addition, she may be called upon to draft proposed legislation, amendments to current legislation, and amendments to agency regulations.

We are excited for this new opportunity for Emily. We know she will represent the Department of Human Services with excellence.

Emily has her B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas, her J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law, and her LL.M. in Agricultural & Food Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ben Thomas, Chief of Staff, USDA Farm and Foreign Ag Services

Ben Thomas LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law USDA Chief of Staff FFAS
At the end of December, 2014, LL.M. alumnus Ben Thomas joined the USDA as Chief of Staff for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.

Farm and Foreign Agricultural  Services

Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services "helps to keep America's farmers and ranchers in business as they face the uncertainties of weather and markets."  Agencies within Farm and Foreign Services include:
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA), the agency that  implements agricultural policy, administers credit and loan programs, and manages conservation, commodity, disaster and farm marketing programs through a national network of offices;
  • Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the agency that develops foreign market access for U.S. products, building new markets and improving the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace; and, 
  • Risk Management Agency (RMA), the agency that provides coverage through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, promoting national welfare by improving the economic stability of agriculture.

Before joining USDA, Ben served as Senior Advisor and Counsel to Senator John Walsh, where he was responsible for agriculture, telecommunication, and trade issues. Ben previously served as Legislative Assistant to Senator Max Baucus. As Mr. Baucus’ lead negotiator on the 2014 Farm Bill, Ben played a key role in development of the new farm programs. He also worked at USDA in various capacities at the Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency.

Ben received his B.A. from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, his Juris Doctor from Washington University in St. Louis, and his LL.M. in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was raised on a family farm outside of Morton, Texas, where his father and brother still farm.

We are proud of the work Ben has done in Washington and wish him well in this new and important position at USDA. Congratulations, Ben.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

LLM Alum Blake Rollins Joins Senator Boozman's Staff

We are delighted to announce that Blake Rollins, an alumnus of the University of Arkansas Law School and the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law has joined Senator John Boozman's staff in Washington, D.C.

Blake will serve as a Legislative Assistant, advising the senator on agriculture and tax policies. The Senator's press release includes this comment from Blake,

“As an Arkansan, it’s an honor to work for Senator Boozman. He is dedicated to serving Arkansas every day, and I am excited to join his team.” 

And, Senator Boozman's statement,

“Blake is a great addition to my team. His connection to Arkansas and his unique understanding of agriculture and the policies that shape our state’s number one industry will benefit agribusinesses and producers.  I appreciate Blake’s dedication, hard work, enthusiasm and commitment to improving Arkansas.”

Before joining Senator Boozman's office, Blake served as counsel at the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture. Prior to his work on the committee, Rollins held clerkship and externship positions in the public and private sector, including serving as an extern at Wal-Mart in renewable energy and emissions.

Rollins earned his B.A. from Taylor University and his J.D. and LL.M. in Agriculture and Food Law at the University of Arkansas. He is a member of the Arkansas Bar.  Congratulations, Blake!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Aaron Thompson Appointed Assistant Attorney General, Arizona Department of Agriculture

Aaron Thompson, Assistant Attorney General 
I am pleased to report that one of our alumni, Aaron Thompson, now serves as Assistant Attorney General and Counsel to the Department of Agriculture for the state of Arizona. In addition to representing the Department, he also represents the Office of Pest Management and several state boards whose purpose relate to agriculture.

Aaron's duties include providing general agency advice, assisting in rule making, reviewing contracts, interpreting statutes and rules, reviewing potential administrative enforcement actions, advising on grant programs, attending board meetings, and assisting with open meeting law compliance. His work includes representing the agencies throughout administrative hearings and during litigation.

We are delighted to have Aaron in this important position and confident he will provide excellent representation.  Congratulations, Aaron.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Spring Semester Classes Offer Variety and Specialization


Each semester when we prepare the class schedule, I am amazed at the breadth of agricultural and food law as a discipline.  While some may think of it as a narrow specialty, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Spring Semester classes provide a clear example. 

Consider our Spring 20015 class offerings in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law: 



Environmental Regulation of Agriculture 

Examination of  the major federal environmental statutes applicable to agricultural operations with attention to current cases and controversies under those laws.  It also explores the regulatory authority and enforcement practices of the EPA and other agencies.


Regulated Markets in Agriculture 

Study of the economic regulation of specific sectors of the agricultural industry focusing on perishable agricultural commodities (fruits & vegetables), dairy products, and 
the Packers & Stockyards Act.


Agricultural Perspectives

Agriculture has a rich and varied history, and today’s issues are often best understood in the context of this history.  This course examines a wide range of social, environmental, and economic issues, considering their origin and how history is reflected in today’s policies. 


Food Safety Litigation

Special condensed course taught by the leaders in food safety litigation:  
Bill Marler and Denis Stearns of Marler Clark.


Farmed Animal Welfare Law

Examination of the legal issues involved in determining welfare standards for animals raised for food. In addition to introducing federal animal welfare and humane slaughter laws, state referenda, state law standards, and so-called “ag gag” laws are introduced.  


Selected Issues in Agricultural & Food Law 

This specialized class combines current legal and policy issues in a cohesive study. 
This semester our topic is Agricultural Business Issues.


Food Justice Law & Policy

Survey of the legal and policy issues raised by the food justice movement. Topics covered include food insecurity and poverty, public health concerns such as obesity, the economics of healthy eating, food deserts, and food waste.


Agricultural Labor Law

Study of the legal, social, and economic issues that arise from the extensive use of migrant labor in U.S. agricultural operations. Topics include agricultural exemptions from labor laws, the Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, and agriculture’s reliance on undocumented workers.


Legal Issues: Indigenous Food & Agriculture 

Exploration of the complex interaction of tribal law, treaties, and federal agricultural and food laws, including property law applicable to tribal lands.


Global Food Security

Survey of the role of law and policy in affecting problems of global food security in the face of increasing population, changing diets, environmental pressures, and climate change.


Special Topics: Food Labeling  and Food Safety 

Advanced study of emerging issues in food labeling and food safety, building on what we covered in our Fall semester Food Law & Policy class. 


Agricultural Biotechnology

Study of the regulation of agricultural biotechnology, including the approval process for new technologies, the patenting of new products and technologies, and the 
restrictions associated with their use.


Intellectual Property for Agricultural & Food Products

Study of the intellectual property laws and treaties that apply to the identification of food and agricultural products.


Local/Regional Food Systems & the Law 

This course examines efforts to re-establish local and regional food systems and explores the attendant legal and policy issues.  Taught by nationally recognized agricultural and food law scholar, Neil Hamilton from Drake University Law School, this year's class will involve a look at land tenure issues, how access to farmland affects beginning farmers, and 
how land tenure affects our food system.